Rethinking Race and Slavery at 400 Years Conference at Avon Old Farms School
 November 8, 2019 from 8 a.m.—4:30 p.m.

Commemorating the quadricentennial of the origins of slavery at Jamestown, this conference aims to identify and challenge conventions of teaching and scholarship about slavery and race. Bringing together scholars of race and slavery as well as secondary educators, the conference will feature both academic papers and demonstrations of teaching.

Register Now

Our students and faculty will participate as audience members at all sessions.

Manisha Sinha

Manisha Sinha, author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum America and The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition. Professor Sinha holds the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut. 

Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar

Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, author of Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap and Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity. Professor Ogbar directs The Center for the Study of Popular Music at the University of Connecticut and is a member of the History Faculty.

Who Should Attend?

Teachers of U.S. history, world history, American literature, sociology, psychology, music, and art. Scholars of race or slavery, public-school educators preparing to teach classes on African-American history, department chairs and administrators looking for fresh curricular approaches, and graduate students of history, literature, the social sciences, and education.


Registration for the conference is $150 and includes attendance at keynote talks by professors Sinha and Ogbar and participation in four sessions devoted to rethinking race and slavery. A moderated discussion at the end of the day with our keynotes will provide synthesis. Breakfast and lunch are also provided. 

Register Now

About Avon Old Farms

Inspiring excellence in the education of young men since 1927, Avon Old Farms School is an innovative center of teaching and learning. Founded by pioneering educator and architect Theodate Pope Riddle, Avon continues to operate beyond conventions and current trends as it promotes the intellectual, creative, and emotional growth of our students. 

Take a Virtual Tour of the Campus

Avon Old Farms is located at 500 Old Farms Road, Avon, CT and is convenient to Hartford, Amtrak, bus lines, Route 84, Bradley Airport, and the greater New York City and Boston areas. 


Conference Schedule

The conference schedule will be posted by October 1. 


Submissions of teaching demonstrations or papers on any subject related to slavery and race are welcome.  

Proposals might focus on (but should not be limited to):

  • the law of slavery and race 
  • popular depictions of race
  • literature and music involving race
  • political discourses of slavery or race
  • contemporary racial problems
  • the economics of slavery
  • racial disparities in the recent past and contemporary society
  • gendered racial issues
  • intersections between slavery, race, and other historical issues
  • analyses of textbook depictions of slavery and race
  • the historiography of race and slavery

Proposals should include a 250-word abstract and brief biographical statement. They may be sent to Conference Director Dr. Chris Doyle at

Proposals are due by August 15.

Final papers should run about 10-pages; teaching demonstrations should be about 15-minutes long.